After November 8

Her coda is her confession and
her request for absolution,
but also her catharsis.
She has nothing left to lose.
We imagine, as does she,
what it would be like to lose the caution,
to ditch the calculation,
to be irritated and blunt,
to not care too much,
to go out in a blaze
of fury and candor—

Hillary! You are entitled to rage.

Sofia Kwon, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article

The Fireworks Galaxy

1
Go to a farmers market,
buy a new candle,
drive with the windows down.
This is our revolution,
a fast way to get killed.

2
When I come back the next day,
the office is closed.
Still, through the window,
I sense the atmosphere.
There are holes in the floor,
new cracks in the walls,
a Madonna washing
her clothes in the toilet.

3
You asked for justice;
they shot you in the face.
It’s hard to believe
it really happened,
and everyone is sitting here
having a good time
and the music is still playing.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article
NPR article

Time Bomb

We didn’t know what it was, whether it was
a train crashing. There were children, blood,

shoes, splattered all over the floor. Everyone
was crying and screaming. I felt so helpless.

A man walked past us, just covered in blood.
This can happen anywhere, at any time.

How can I explain any of this to a 14-year-old?

*
This is the world we live in now.
Even the police are bandits.
We have to face up to it.
A very horrible morning of death.
Kids were getting crushed.
I didn’t know what to do, where to go.
I didn’t have a phone.
I just kept screaming for Patty.
She needs to grieve.

*

Backpacks aren’t allowed.
Drinks are taken away from people.

But getting a car or knife is easy.
And it usually involves other people.

To make matters worse,
Senegalese have less and less money.

*

Everybody’s constantly looking
at the clock. The clock’s ticking,
the clock’s ticking. Got to go, man,
got to go! Otherwise you kind of
get trapped. Yeah, it’s the same
sun, but it’s different everywhere.
Nobody knows which way to go.
Keep on running, keep on running.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
New York Times article 1
New York Times article 2
New York Times article 3

Hamlet in 15 Seconds

Every once in a while,
imagine life as a hard, rigid,
inflexible caramel center.

If you can help it,
make your way through
a swirling maelstrom
of volatile surprises.

And by all that is holy,
practice a death-defying leap
through a flaming hoop
while reciting Hamlet

in under 15 seconds
when nobody’s around.

People always clap
for the wrong reasons.

Shloka Shankar, 2017

Remixed works:
Chaos Theory: A Unified Theory of Muppet Types, by Dahlia Lithwick
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger.

Infirmities

1
I saw a black mass of smoke.
I felt the fire touching me through my window.
I heard a snap or a crackle.
I saw the flames rising.
A bird gave this to me because I freed her wing
from a tangle of balloons.

2
Stranded between one act and another,
jump, turn clockwise,
cut with the kitchen knife
through the beer belly of the Republic.
The more a visitor is willing
to play in my nightmare,
the more all of us will receive.
The island sinks now, but it’s still there
just beneath the waves.

3
They came and knocked on the door.
Why didn’t you open the door?
My daughter could have been in there bleeding.
I can’t keep doing this.
The bridge is going to collapse.
They’re saying I have to walk,
but it’s raining and dark.

4
Whatever happened here,
it was at the wrong time, wrong place.
This place is very dangerous.
I imagined that there might be someone with a gun.
Crowded places, we try to avoid.
Malls, we try to avoid.
So much is coming at us.
It’s like watching your heart outside your body.

Howie Good, 2017

Remixed works:
Hyperallergic article
AJC article
ABC News article
New York Times 1 article
New York Times 2 article

You Are Here

What are you supposed to be?

Quiet anticipation or cosmic boredom?

The arrow on the map or strange place names?

A door locked from the inside, or a master key?

Thoughts left just as they were-

fading rapidly from your awareness-

or a series of jolting epiphanies,

itching for a chance to leap headlong into reality?

An out of focus aftertaste

or still somehow alive and unfinished,

even if you never intended to, even if it’s unfair,

even if you wish you could slowly dissolve?

What are you supposed to be?

Maybe, your own adventure;

fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Garima Behal, 2017

Remixed work:
Thought Catalog, by Brianna Wiest

Under Shadows

In a Rhythm of blurred silences,

The lights and shadows stopped

 

the noises of the city receded.

 

As I stepped inside,

this fever of departure

overlooked     the natural right

that this river swallowed.

How easily a crime could be committed here.


Jonathan Butcher, 2017

Remixed work:
Houseboat, by Anaïs Nin